Network Rail has announced major upgrades on the West Coast main line and at London Euston in spring/summer 2021.
The work, part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan and HS2 Phase One*, will make passengers’ journeys more reliable and ease pressure on the West Coast main line by adding more railway capacity.
Though passenger demand is reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rail industry is planning for an increase in passenger numbers next year.
The work has been announced early to give passengers plenty of notice so they can make informed choices when travelling over spring/summer.
Two lines into Euston station will be taken out of service for two six-week periods – 2 April to 17 May and 17 July to 31 August – to enable the new HS2 terminus to be built. Weekend work will also take place between April and the end of August.
Most train services will continue running while this work takes place, but there will be some timetable and platform alterations.
Other essential rail upgrades are planned over the Easter, Early May, Spring and August bank holiday weekends, which in 2021 fall on:
- 2 – 5 April (Easter bank holiday)
- 1-3 May (Early May bank holiday)
- 29 -31 (Late May bank holiday)
- 28-30 August (Summer bank holiday)
- Major track renewals between Rugby – Birmingham, Crewe – Warrington, Preston – Lancaster and Carstairs – Carlisle
- Further Bletchley flyover work as part of the East-West Rail project
This means stations and trains between Euston and Scotland may be busier, services will change, journeys may take longer and in some instances buses will replace trains.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “Our work will make the West Coast main line more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, which will bring much-needed extra railway capacity.
“There is no question such large scale improvements will mean changes for passengers, but we’re working with the industry to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible next year.
“We’re letting people know many months in advance so none of this comes as a surprise and passengers can stay on the move while we do this vital work.”
Patrick Cawley, director of On Network Works for HS2 Ltd and Network Rail said: “Investing in HS2 will create additional rail capacity across the existing UK network, providing more local, regional and intercity services. Although some disruption to the current rail service is unavoidable in the short term, in preparation for this we have completed other service upgrades to minimise impact, such as increasing platform lengths at busy stations on the West Coast main line.”
The rail industry has worked closely to combine the Euston work and other West Coast rail upgrades as much as possible to minimise disruption to passengers.
Passengers can find out more information at www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast